Gene's story, a surprising paean to the power and humanity of a game, is told here by his son, a first-time author who exhibits the confidence and pacing of a pro. His gripping material certainly helps: after several years overseas in the Navy's touring baseball team, Gene was brought back to Louisiana and assigned to guard secret German POWs, whose U-boat was captured just days before the storming of Normandy.
There, Gene teaches his German captives how to play baseball, with a number of unintended and life-altering consequences. When Gene's finally able to return home to Sesser, Ill., he's "on crutches, depressed and embarrassed," holing up in the local bar and prompting one bartender to lament, "he's become one of us, when we were hoping he would make us like him." Gene's journey from promise to despair and back again, set against a long war and an even longer post-war recovery, retains every bit of its vitality and relevance, a 20th-century epic that demonstrates how, sometimes, letting go of a dream is the only way to discover one's great fortune.
©2006 Gary Moore; (P)2008 Oasis Audio
I really liked the audio version, I haven't read the print version.
There are so many stories of comebacks that this could be compared to, but not all of them were originally sacrificed for the good of others. This man was not only a great ball player, but a great man and a great leader.
Toby did a great job of bringing these characters to life.
The main character really sacrificed a lot for others, I loved when his friend gave up his chance to give him a 2nd chance.
It's always good to remember that our lives can turn on a dime, and we should always appreciate what we have here and now.
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